CD Reviews > DevilDriver

DevilDriver - Pray For Villains
Roadrunner Records

Since its inception in 2003, DevilDriver has proven itself a mighty force to be reckoned with indeed! Their 3-pronged mission statement, “Work hard, rock harder, and kick as many asses as possible in the process” has been one they’ve definitely adhered to, while bringing inspiring messages of Hope and Positivity through their music as well.

An excellent example of this is their newest release, Pray For Villains, which instantaneously grabs you by the jugular, shakes you in its jaws like a mad dog, yet still delivering profound messages and leaving you begging for more. The title track, for instance, is about the Anti-Hero who comes in and gets the job done when the heroes fail. Inspired by Dez’ love for Westerns, its about how people put all their eggs in one basket and bet on the hero, but it’s actually the villain who comes in to save the day. Great stuff! Check out the "Pray For Villains" video!

Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, DevilDriver are: frontman Dez Farfara, guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Jeff Kendrick, bassist Jon Miller, and drummer (and occasionally extra guitarist) John Boecklin. Named after bells that Italian Witches use to ward off evil, DevilDriver are currently touring the world to bring this message to the masses.

The aforementioned title track starts the album off with a vengeance. Fears are faced head-on in "Pure Sincerity" against an excellent background of bone-crunching chords and addictive melodies. "Fate Stepped In" fiercely escapes destiny, taking control of one’s own fate; I love the melodic surreal outro! I’m also impressed with the guitar solo in the intro of the defiant "Back With A Vengeance".

"I’ve Been Sober" starts with gorgeous mellow reflections before exploding full force with the strength of conviction. The manic "Resurrection Blvd" delves into darker recesses of emotions. Ruthless musicianship sets the tone as Wild West Justice is meted out in "Forgiveness Is A Six Gun" – with an underlying message of not holding onto your grudges; to let them go. "Waiting For November" is ice cold.

Pure danger permeates "It’s In The Cards". "Another Night In London" conjures the sights and sounds of the early Punk movement. "Bitter Pill" is musically fantastic – brutal but with an ethereal quality managing to shine through – as it breaks the cycle of despair. The intense "Teach Me To Whisper" reminds us to be patient and strong, to make the best of a bad situation even when you feel like screaming instead. The musical inferno of "I See Belief" uses Hope against hoplessness.

You betcha this album immediately made its way into the Crowgrrl’s personal Heavy Rotation Stack!

~Athena Schaffer